• The next Hyundai Elantra N could get a bigger, more powerful engine.
The N version of the Hyundai Elantra is an uncommon sports beast. This car is not just surprising, it's stunning. We had occasion to drive the Elantra N On the track, and let’s say it left a strong impression. It never flinched.
This is what happens when a manufacturer like Hyundai snags the former M5 chief designer at BMW, Albert Biermann.
Earlier this year, the Elantra N received a stylistic upgrade, both exterior and interior. However, the output of its 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine remained unchanged at 276 hp and 289 lb-ft of torque. This unit can work in conjunction with an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission or a good old-fashioned 6-speed manual gearbox.
But it seems that within the walls of Hyundai HQ, there’s a push on to inject more into the model. Which goes against the current industry trend of downsizing engines. Not that the company has any intention of sticking a V6 or V8 under the hood of the Elantra N. But it could give it a 2.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder.
In an interview with CarExpert, Biermann said he made sure the Elantra N could accommodate the 2.5L turbo engine before leaving his position as N division boss. The now-technical-advisor explained that “technically, we are ready to continue with N cars [with internal-combustion N cars]. Before I left… I made sure the Elantra [could] go on with the 2.5L turbo engine. It fits in there and everything.”
According to Biermann, an Elantra N with a more powerful engine could be sold in the United States and other markets, like Australia, but some regions might be deprived of it. Referring to these markets, he said, “They're all dreaming on the EV cloud, EV heaven; they don't care for combustion cars.”
If Hyundai does decide to give the Elantra N a more powerful engine, we can expect it with the next generation. Says Biermann, “I think within this year, there will be a decision if we continue next-generation Elantra with an N or not. Technically, it's possible. With a 2.5L turbo, with the stricter emission regulations, I think we can still have some good level of power, maybe [the] same level [as] today, but that engine first needs the N treatment.”
Since the model has just been revised, don't expect to see this engine for another three years unless it's integrated into the current version. The company has also just launched its first N electric model with the Ioniq 5 N. Is electrifying the Elantra N possible?
Biermann believes a future Elantra N would retain its combustion engine.
We'll see which direction the company takes. The N Line version of the Sonata uses a 2.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder (290 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque). There’s speculations this engine would be recalibrated to be even more powerful if used for an Elantra N. And let's not rule out some form of electrification just yet.
Three years in the industry is an eternity these days.